Michael S. Falk, a partner at Focus Consulting Group, died Saturday of complications from ALS, said his wife, Suzanne. He was 54.
A letter issued by his colleagues at the Long Grove, Ill.-based money manager consultant noted that he had been diagnosed with ALS more than two years ago.
"Michael was a thought leader in the investment industry and made us all contemplate our responsibilities as fiduciaries and investment professionals," said the letter, which was signed by Focus Consulting Group Founder Jim Ware, Managing Partner Keith Robinson and Partner Liz Severyns. "We will miss our friend dearly."
Mr. Falk joined FCG in 2011, where he counseled investment firms on corporate culture, best work practices and business management. He was previously a partner and chief investment strategist at Mauka Capital.
In August, Mr. Falk was the 28th recipient of the Hortense Friedman Award for Excellence, a lifetime achievement award, by the CFA Society Chicago in recognition of his years of service to the investment community.
Mr. Falk served on the CFA's board of regents for six years and had been its chairman for two.
Christopher T. Vincent, president and CEO of CFA Institute Chicago, had previously told Pensions & Investments in an interview that Mr. Falk had " done a lot of education not only for the Chicago Society but also for many others, especially on the subject of cognitive and behavioral factors in investment management."
Mr. Falk also wrote two investment books — "Let's All Learn How To Fish … To Sustain Long-Term Economic Growth" (2016) and "Get To Work … on Our Future" (2019).
Before becoming a chartered financial analyst, Mr. Falk was a semiprofessional baseball pitcher.
"While my first love — throwing a ball — carried me through my first 23 years, in 1990 I learned of the purpose that will likely carry me through the rest of my days," Mr. Falk is quoted as saying in the letter. "Curiosity led me to the topics of behavioral finance and neuroscience to better understand decision-making. Those learnings have become invaluable in my work with teams and coaches."
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. CDT Oct. 15 at Chicago Jewish Funerals, Buffalo Grove Chapel, at 195 North Buffalo Grove Rd. in Buffalo Grove, Ill.
He is survived by his wife; his son, Collin; his father, Jerry; two sisters and five nieces and nephews.